Pregnant mothers-to-be may be at a higher risk for being involved in car accidents. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that, during a three-year period, the study group of over 500,000 women were involved in 7,000 collisions that resulted in hospital stays. The statistics included 757 accidents during the second trimester.
Issues associated with pregnancy include anxiety, nausea, fatigue and distraction — factors that could contribute to driver error. In order to avert accidents during pregnancy, a doctor and researcher from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences suggested that women take ever greater care to drive defensively and be alert at all times as their pregnancy progresses. The study went so far as to state that safe driving is a component of good prenatal care.
Although the study is interesting, many find the results to be questionable. It did not account for any other contributing factors, like medical conditions, weather or distracted driving. An E.R. doctor at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, New Jersey questioned why the study did not find that the risk of an accident was higher in the first trimester, when many women feel their worst.
Whatever studies show about the statistical risks of driving while pregnant, it is imperative to drive with care. Pay attention to the road. Minimize distractions. Do not drive while feeling sick. Do not drive if you cannot get behind the wheel safely and comfortably.